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E-commerce spending over $1.15b in UAE

The number of e-commerce consumers in the UAE has exceeded 1.16 million, according to a report by the Arab Advisors Group. These users have spent over $1.15 billion in the past 12 months, the report said. The survey of internet users in the UAE reveals substantial adoption of e-commerce in the affluent and booming economy.

About 51.2 per cent of internet users in the UAE reported purchasing products and services online and through their mobile handsets over the past 12 months. Based on the survey findings, the Arab Advisors Group estimates e-commerce users in the UAE to exceed 1.16 million consumers who have spent over $1.15 billion over the past 12 months.

The survey, 'UAE internet users and e-commerce survey 2007', concluded on September 7. With over 75 detailed exhibits and 64 pages, it provides the results of a major comprehensive online survey of internet users in the UAE.

The survey covered internet usage, e-commerce and cellular usage and habits of internet users in the UAE.

"The booming economy of the UAE, its burgeoning population and wide adoption of internet, provide an ideal context for a thriving e-commerce scene.

"Our major survey of internet users in the UAE revealed a massive size for B2C e-commerce in the country. This presents opportunities for global and regional e-commerce players to tap into this growing market," Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager of the Arab Advisors Group said.

The survey received online replies from 1,108 respondents who answered the survey questions online. The survey was conducted on the general internet population, including both genders and all age groups across the UAE.

The online survey yields a confidence level of 99 per cent with a margin of error of less than three per cent.

"The majority of UAE e-commerce users make their payments through credit cards: 83.8 per cent of e-commerce users reported using credit cards as their e-commerce method of payment.

"Following credit cards, 31.7 per cent of e-commerce users reported using bank account transfers for their payments," Hussam Barhoush, Arab Advisors Group research analyst wrote in the report.

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